I have a spread sheet with 109 line items each with a material and labour cost against them, which admittedly includes shipping packing and other not so specific to repair items. I would be most surprised if other repairers do not have something similar. There is a difference in examination for repair and examination for purchase. Examination for repair has to be more comprehensive, it is part of the value adding process of the overall 'repair service' and your customer satisfaction often stems from the thoroughness of this examination, and the resultant recommendations that you as a repairer make.
In industry there was always confusion between inspection and examination (or assessment if you prefer it). the term 'Inspection' being used widely for quality control and is applied after work to prove compliance to contract and as such is a management check, thus not what a customer is paying for. Examination applied at the start of a repair cycle as part of the service the customer is paying for to ascertain condition and scope of repairs needed.
This highlights two extreme approaches to servicing. In one approach, you look at the complaint, e.g. "F# is not working", fix F# and send it back to the customer. In the other, you note all the other things that are wrong with the instrument, apprise the sometimes -surprised customer, and, when given the go-ahead, really sort it out. I tend to the latter approach myself (with flutes), as flutes are not an efficient instrument, and a little loss here and there is all that is needed to make a good flute into a bear. There is the risk of being accused of "over-servicing", but I'd rather risk that than having the instrument returned with a note that "it still doesn't play well". 109 lines sounds like a pretty thorough going over!
That is the diference between a simple repair, a hole in the bellows, so patch it; versus the service question: what condition are these bellows in? Then the next step of: what do I, based on my observations and experience, recommend?
As there is no manufacturer's service manuals with change-out intervals, and such like, I usually like to caregorise my recomendations along the lines of
1. If it were my instrument i would do............. Costing ££££
2. However you only need to do............... To make it functional. Costing £££
3. There again the instrument could benefit from. ?......... This is guilding the lilly and would cost a further ........£££
It is about options and giving the player control, with a gentle nudge if needed. Also about declining a job if the scope of work is inadequate to protect your own reputation.
Edited by d.elliott, 03 April 2014 - 07:46 PM.